Athletics Week in Review: 4/19/21 to 4/25/21

In the first week of competition for spring teams, the weather was beautiful and the Big Green teams enjoyed returning to play against interscholastic competition on Friday and Saturday! Similarly, Big Green fans enjoyed the sunshine and supporting and cheering for one-another on the sidelines at the games!

Girls Varsity Lacrosse:
The girls varsity lacrosse team participated in their first game of the season on Friday night against Williston Northampton.  The contest held plenty of back and forth action as both schools earned several scoring opportunities throughout the contest.  The Deerfield girls played particularly strong defense and were also able to capitalize well off the draw controls.  Ultimately, the game ended in a 10-8 win for the Big Green.  On Saturday, Deerfield hosted Andover for the season home opener, and struggled to find success early.  Draw control possessions fell in Andover’s favor, as did overall-possession time and shots on goal.  The Big Green fought hard, but ultimately lost the contest by a considerable margin to Andover.

Boys Varsity Tennis:
@ Williston: Friday’s away match at Williston marked the first competition since 2019, and the boys game out swinging, sweeping the Wildcats 7-0 without dropping a set.
Blustery winds and first match nerves were no match for the doubles teams, with both #1 Achille Sarachek/Jimmy Ueland and #3  Oscar Depp/Yongjin Park blanking their opponents 8-0. At #2, Noah Depp and Max Peh pulled through to win their match 8-6.
Singles proved to be just as dominant as doubles, with the Wildcats unable to win more than 3 games in any of their sets against DA players.
More important than getting the first win of the season however is the gratefulness we all felt finally being able to compete.

Doubles Results:
#1 Achille Sarachek/Jimmy Ueland (DA) def. Sierros/Ramvelu 8-0
#2 Max Peh/Noah Depp (DA) def. Cataldo/Lee 8-6
#3 Oscar Depp/Yongjin Park (DA) def. Jain/Latkovski 8-0

Singles Results:
#1 Sarachek (DA) def. Sierros 6-3, 6-1
#2 Ueland (DA) def. Cataldo 6-1, 6-1
#3 Peh (DA) def. Ramvelu 6-3, 6-0
#4 N. Depp (DA) def. Lee 6-1, 6-3
#5. Salz (DA) def. Jain 6-2, 6-0
#6 O. Depp (DA) def. Latkovski 6-0, 6-1
Order of finish: doubles 1,3,2; singles 2,3,6,3,5,1

@ Andover: On a beautiful sunny Saturday, Deerfield fell 4-3 to rival Andover in a battle that came down to the last singles match. The loss brings Deerfield to 1-1 overall.
Deerfield came out firing in doubles, proving all of our hard work on the practice court would pay off! A new #3 team of Max Peh/Yongjin Park got a quick 8-2 win with consistent groundstrokes and punishing volleys; senior twins Noah and Oscar Depp then fell at #2 8-3, leaving the deciding match to the #1 team of Achille Sarachek/Jimmy Ueland. Though playing tough opponents, DA pulled out the win 8-6 by fearlessly attacking the ball and showing their superior skills at the net. The win clinched the doubles point for DA, giving us a 1-0 lead heading into singles.
Singles was bound to be difficult with Andover’s strong top two players and equally impressive depth throughout their lineup, and Deerfield dropped its first two singles matches at #5 and #4 to go down 1-2. As those matches ended, #2 Jimmy Ueland entered into a third set super tiebreaker to determine the winner of his match against Edward Wang; despite going down 3-6 in the breaker, Ueland’s aggressive tactics ultimately got him the win 6-1, 3-6, 10-7.
Now tied at 2-2, #1 Achille Sarachek was battling fellow senior Aidan Burt and trying to close out his match in two sets. Serving at 5-4, Sarachek’s serves proved too much to handle for Burt and he went on to win 6-4, 6-4, giving DA a 3-2 lead.
Right after Sarachek’s win, freshman Max Peh at #3 fell to Hudson Elegant 6-4, 6-1; Peh battled long point after long point but Elegant proved too consistent to crack.
With the match now tied at 3-3, and #6 Oscar Depp only at 2-1 in his match due to limited court availability, the match came down to the senior playing in only his second varsity match of his career. Though Depp ultimately lost 6-3, 6-0, it was an important  learning experience for all and ultimately what Deerfield tennis is all about: great competition, great sportsmanship, and great comraderie.
Deerfield next takes on The Berkshire School- our first home match since 2019- on Friday, April 30 at 5pm.

Doubles Results:
#1 Sarachek/Ueland (DA) def. A. Burt/Katkavich 8-6
#2 Wang/Liao def. N. Depp/O. Depp (DA) 8-3
#3 Peh/Park (DA) def. Elegant/Zhu 8-2

Singles Results:
#1 Sarachek (DA) def. A. Burt 6-4, 6-4
#2 Ueland (DA) def. Wang 6-1, 3-6, 10-7
#3 Elegant def. Peh (DA) 6-4, 6-1
#4 Zhu def. N. Depp (DA) 6-4, 6-0
#5 Katkavich def. Salz (DA) 7-6(5), 6-0
#6 K. Burt def. O. Depp (DA) 6-3, 6-0
Order of finish: doubles 3,2,1; singles 5,4,2,1,3,6

Girls Varsity Tennis:
vs. Williston: Girls Varsity Tennis Opens 2021 Season with Shut-Out Win
The longest layoff in competitive tennis in memory at Deerfield Academy is over! After a two-year hiatus, the girls varsity tennis team got back to work. The team was prepared for the season’s first tilt with visiting Williston on a blustery Friday afternoon.
The new doubles pairings settled in quickly and Deerfield swept the match’s first three points. At second doubles, Isha Rao and Devon L’Esperance earned the rarest of tennis laurels: A golden match. This means that the pair lost no points throughout the whole of the match. For the uninitiated, unforced errors and lapses in focus are nearly unavoidable throughout the course of a tennis match. Isha and Devon played a remarkable stretch of games, never losing focus for an instant. Congratulations to both of these talented juniors!
As singles began, the squad continued to push the pace and maintain concentration. Big green swept the singles match-ups and notched the shutout victory to start the season 1-0.
Congratulations are in order for Olivia Waterfall, Evan Burkett, and Emily Pajak who earned their first careers wins for Deerfield tennis.
The team has little time to rest as they head to Phillips Andover tomorrow for a Saturday afternoon match.
Final Result: Deerfield 9, Williston 0.

Individual Results:
Waterfall/ Gavros, W 8-5
Rao/ L’Esperance, W 8-0
Weech/ Burkett, W 9-3
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

Isha Rao, W 8-0
Emma Weech, W 8-3
Olivia Waterfall, W 8-1
Daphne Gavros, W 8-1
Evan Burkett, W 8-2
Emily Pajak, W 8-1
Order of Finish: 1, 6, 5, 3, 4, 2

Exhibition Play
Linnea Dreslin/ Kiki Brainard, W 8-2

Dreslin, W 8-2
Alex Kelsey, W 8-1

@ Andover: About fourteen hours after their first outing of the season, Deerfield’s Varsity Tennis girls were on the bus to Phillips Andover for what promised to be a hotly contested match. The sun was out and shining, but Friday’s high winds seemed to have chased the bus down Route Two. Both teams needed to account for the elements again for this afternoon contest.
Andover jumped out to early and commanding leads at all three doubles positions. After the first few changeovers, the Deerfield ladies found their game and battled back. Isha Rao and Hunter Pulliam dug in, using strategic ball placement and expert movement to even the match at four games each. Steady baseline play and miraculous volleys helped propel the pair to the improbable comeback victory! Congratulations to Hunter on her first career Deerfield win!
Third doubles followed a similar arc, with Emma Weech and new team member, Evan Burkett settling in and making the requisite adjustments to claw their way back and win Deerfield its second point of the day. Credit goes to Andover’s second doubles pair whose steady net play and precise overheads proved to be the winning formula on Saturday.
Unsurprisingly, Andover offered up tremendous competition at all singles positions. It would not be until the girls in blue had swept every opening singles set that Deerfield’s squad found its footing. With every player facing an uphill climb in the second set, the team was determined to make this a long afternoon. Isha Rao and Evan Burkett battled valiantly to capture their second sets 6-0 and 6-4 respectively. This team is learning to make adjustments in tight spots. Isha’s efforts resulted in Deerfield’s third and final point of the day as she clinched her match in a third set super-breaker, 10-5.
Andover’s squad is a formidable and deep team. Both teams played hard and demonstrated excellent character in this competitive match-up.
Deerfield’s ladies look forward to an away match at The Berkshire School on Friday, April 30th.
Final Result: Andover 6, Deerfield 3.

Individual Results
Rao/ Pulliam, W 8-5
Waterfall/Gavros, L 4-8
Weech/ Burkett, W 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

Isha Rao, W 4-6, 6-0, 10-5
Hunter Pulliam, L 2-6, 2-6
Emma Weech, L 1-6, 4-6
Olivia Waterfall, L 1-6, 0-6
Daphne Gavros, L 1-6, 1-6
Evan Burkett, L 4-6, 6-4, 6-10
Order of Finish: 4, 5, 2, 3, 6, 1

Girls Track and Field:
The girls track and field team was thrilled to travel to its first away meet in almost 2 years. We stepped off the bus onto Andover’s campus ready to enjoy the gorgeous weather and fun competition. The Andover athletes were excellent hosts and just as excited to compete. It was a fantastic environment to have our season’s opening meet.
Many of the athletes were eager to get their first meet under their belts. There were many highlights including Simi Lawal scoring second in the 100 meter dash with Jasmine Decossard, Campbell Fealy, and Kate Kelly not far behind her. Campbell Fealy also jumped an impressive 14 feet 11 inches on her first official long jump on the DA team. Josephine Louis soared to some great heights in the high jump and pole vault, scoring points in both events. Captain Jaxon Palmer and senior Janie Doyle led the way for us in throws, each earning a top 3 spot in their events. In one of the last events, Ali Thomas ran second in the 3000m and it was her first time competing in this event.
Many of our athletes tried new events after only starting our team training about two weeks before this meet. Anna Zusi took on the 100m hurdles with Kami Meier joining her for the 300m hurdles. The 4x400m team consisting of Aurelia Bolton, Georgia Barnes, Josephine Louis, and Jean Jin came off their first relay experience with smiles on their faces and an eagerness to compete again.
I could list out accomplishments for the entire team as many athletes tried new events, broke PRs, and saw the incredible outcomes of their hard work. Although Andover won the meet, our team’s comradery and spirit were unmatched. It was a great way to start the season and we look forward to more great meets!

Boys Track & Field:
On Saturday, April 24, the Track & Field team traveled to Philips Andover Academy’s campus for their first meet in nearly two years. It was near-perfect weather for a spring track meet, with sunny skies, light breezes, and temperatures in the low 70s. Andover proved to be welcoming hosts, drawing a small crowd of students and parents, and providing entertainment from a marching band as the field events got underway.
Deerfield began and ended the meet with wins in the 4×100 Meter Relay and the 4×400 Meter Relay. Each relay team featured Chip Coffin ’21, Donnie Gray ’21, and Elic Ayomanor ’22, with Chandler Dicks ’23 and Quinn Hampson ’22 running the third leg of the respective races. In between the two relays, Deerfield won victories in the 100 Meters, the 200 Meters, the 400 Meters, the 800 Meters, and the 1500 Meters, ceding first place to Andover runners only in the 110 Meter Hurdles, the 300 Meter Hurdles, and the 3000 Meters. Several highlights came from the Field events as well, with Bob Provost ’23 and Chandler Dicks ’23 winning the Javelin and the High Jump, Hugo Nutting ’22 placing third in the Pole Vault, and Tyler Simon ’22 placing third in both the Shot Put and the Discus.
Several athletes ran their way onto the school’s All-Time Top 20 lists, including Elic Ayomanor ’22 in the 100 and 200 Meters, Donnie Gray ‘21 in the 100 Meters, Chip Coffin ’21 in the 400 Meters, Quinn Hampson ’22 in the 1500 Meters, and Barack Mwesigwa ’24 in the 110 Hurdles. The 4×100 Meter Relay team also took home the 18th fastest time in school history.
It was an enjoyable day for all, and beyond the athletes listed above, many younger athletes made auspicious debuts in new events, often competing in 2-3 events for experience. Although Andover prevailed in the end thanks to the depth of their Field team, Deerfield has every reason to be optimistic about the three remaining meets on the schedule!

Varsity Softball:
In their first game of a doubleheader vs. Andover, in the bottom of the 8th inning with the score 3-1 in Andover’s favor, the Big Green had two outs and Kelly Howe ’22 was up at the plate. Morgan Moriarty ’22 was on second and Kaitlin Mckenna ’21 on first. Kelly hit a hard ground ball that shot past the short stop into left/center field. The coaches waved Morgan around and Andover tried to throw her out at the plate. Kaitlin was coming hard from first. Morgan scored and the catcher tried to throw Kaitlin out at third. Kaitlin slid into the bag as the ball went sailing out to left field. Kaitlin got up and scored; Kelly came all the way around and scored the winning run. The Big Green took the leader 4-3 to seal their first victory of the season! At the end of the day the Big Green and Big Blue split the doubleheader, 1-1.

Girls Varsity Water Polo:
Inexperience limited the team in the first game against Williston, whose players effectively swam the counterattack and scored easy goals to break open a close game after halftime.  With more opportunities to learn defensive skills and gain game awareness, our young team should be better prepared and more confident in the games in the weeks ahead.

JV Baseball:
After a long two-year hiatus, the Junior Varsity Baseball team returned to the field. This week in practice, we focused on getting the players back into their Pre-Covid shape. Through a lot of fielding, hitting, and pitching, we seemed to be moving in the right direction. After some tough loses over the weekend, the boys now seem ready and determined to win our next game. The Eaglebrook baseball and the Deerfield baseball rivalry will soon surpass the Red Sox and Yankees.

What an exciting week for the Ultimate team!  We have been busy at practice learning new offensive strategies and focusing on cutting on the field.  This week, we also had our first two matchups, against Williston and Andover.  For many of our players, it was their first time in a competitive frisbee game!  Though the wind made the play a bit unpredictable, our players fought through it and played 5 games over the course of the weekend.  Everyone put their best out on the field, running hard to keep marks and get open.
The ‘play of the weekend’ certainly goes to Shane McCarthy ‘21, Forrest Gao ‘23, and William Abou-Rjaili ’22.  When a pass up the line starting to go out of bounds, Shane leapt from the sideline, managed to catch the disc and throw it back inbounds, all while in midair, which kept the point alive (called a “Greatest” in Ultimate lingo).  Amongst several players vying for the disc which was now soaring back onto the field, Forrest managed to snag the catch and maintain possession for Deerfield, right by the endzone line.  William immediately cut to support him and received the scoring pass! ​

Girls JV Lacrosse: 
Girls JV lacrosse had another fun week on the field, building our skills as a team. We worked on defensive positioning around the goal and 3v2s, eventually learning our first play! We had cupcakes to celebrate a team birthday and capped off the week with a fun 9v9 scrimmage. It was great to finally play full field and get ready to meet Berkshire in our first contest on May 2nd.

The cycling squad has been busy hitting the roads of Franklin County over the past week and while we won’t have a racing season, the team will certainly log a lot of training miles.  The dirt road climbs west of campus have been a little tricky and some cyclists have lost a bit of skin out on the roads, but skills are developing quickly and legs are getting stronger.  The longest ride of the season thus far was a 30 mile beauty near the NMH campus and we’ll likely start stretching the miles out a bit more as the temperature climbs.

Go Big Green!